Matthew Rothenberg Unindexed

An experiment in the nature of ephemerality and persistence on the web.

Unindexed was a website that continuously searched Google for itself over and over. The moment it found itself in the search results it would irrevocably and securely delete itself, making the precise instant of algorithmic discovery the catalyst of destruction.

Visitors were encouraged to post contributions to the site (which would also be destroyed when the site was detected). They were then invited to share the site with others, bearing in mind the impact their method of sharing would have on hastening the eventual discovery of the URL by Google search bots.

A tension was created between the desire to share and the desire to keep it to oneself, and the site spread on a small scale via postal mail, word-of-mouth, etc.

The site was discovered by Google after 22 days on Tue Feb 24 2015 21:01:14 GMT+0000 (UTC) and consequently instantaneously self-destructed milliseconds later. Prior to the automatic deletion it received hundreds of visitors and dozens of contributions. No backups were kept.

Posthumously featured in VICE, Boing Boing, PC World, & “The New Aesthetic and Art: Constellations of the Postdigital” (Contreras-Koterbay/Mirocha, 2016).